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3 Reasons Why Vets Are Against Raw Pet Food

3 Reasons Why Vets Are Against Raw Pet Food

As pet parents, we all want the best for our furry family. And when it comes to their diet, many of us have turned to raw pet food as a healthier option.

With so many health benefits of a raw pet food diet, including improved digestion, increased energy levels and reduced allergies, you may be surprised to learn that many veterinarians still don't recommend a raw diet.

But why are these vets against a raw diet?

Let’s dive into the reasons, one by one, and discover why are some vets against raw diets when many others support fresh raw pet food diets and warmly welcome them.

Also, we will be exploring the safety precautions Furchild has implemented to counter these concerns and keep your dogs and cats the healthiest and happiest.

To begin with, here are some of the reasons vets discourage raw feeding:

1) Vets are specialists in animal medicine and nutrition is a different study in itself.

We, Furchild, love vets for their dedication and commitment to helping our furry family members and believe vets have our pets' very best interests at heart.

Dog at veterinary clinicAlthough veterinary school focuses on medicine and surgery, it does not typically cover nutrition.

The issue is the veterinary curriculum tends to have very limited nutrition studies (if any at all), so actual coursework in species-appropriate nutrition will be limited.

That said, the actual quality and amount of nutritional training for veterinarians can vary from school to school and from vet to vet.

Some may not have required nutrition courses, while some may have one or two semesters of nutrition in total for all species.

If there is a nutrition class, the quality of the dog and cat curriculum sections on nutrition sometimes can depend entirely on whether the professor has an interest in it at all.

Meaning... that vet advice on raw food can also vary from vet to vet.

Veterinarians cover a huge spectrum of information on diverse topics, which is why it is surprising to most people that veterinarians can have such a limited or even misguided opinion on fresh raw pet food.

Furthermore, the limited nutritional training that vet schools offer is often funded by big pet food brands. This bias to teach about products rather than foundational nutrition may mean that veterinarians complete courses, feel educated in nutritional products and skip the very foundations of nutritional health.

As a result, vets are more likely to suggest these processed pet food brands to you as options since that’s what they have been involuntarily familiarised with.

There is a misconception among veterinarian professionals who refer to raw pet food diets as 'trends'. Ironically, fresh raw diets have been their ancestral diet from 1000s of years ago, whereas processed pet food (kibble and canned diets) has only been around for less than 100 years, and is the confusing trend that's likely causing health issues rather than solving them.

Dr Barbara Royal treating a dog

Renowned veterinarian, Dr Barbara Royal (DVM, CVA), who has over 30 years of integrative veterinary experience, strongly emphasises pets having a species-appropriate diet, one that is close to the ancestral diet of cats and dogs.

“The most important health decision you make for your pet is what you put in the food bowl.”
- Dr Barbara Royal.

She further quotes, “While a good diet won’t cure every illness, a bad diet will ALWAYS cause problems” and reinforces that a balanced fresh raw pet food diet follows the ancestral diet and has remarkable health benefits for your pets.

In their #1 New York Times Bestselling book on dog health, The Forever Dog, Dr Karen Becker, an integrative veterinarian, and Rodney Habib, an author and pet influencer, also write,

"As with human medicine, veterinary medicine remains stuck in the age-old paradigm of managing disease and controlling symptoms rather than preventing its onset in the first instance. Your vet isn't purposely withholding this critically important information; rather, she doesn't discuss targeted nutritional interventions, lifestyle choices, and risks and preventive strategies with you because they didn't teach her these things in vet school."

2) Vets worry if fresh raw food is complete and balanced.

This is a valid concern for anyone in nutrition. It’s true that feeding an unbalanced pet food diet can present short and long-term health risks for your pet. This is why we are so careful about the ingredients and nutrients in each of our Furchild recipes.

But, before your vet turns his back on all raw pet food diets, it’s important to note that all raw diets are not created equal. As pet parents ourselves, we want to ensure that every pet gets a complete and balanced diet.

We have seen how the pet food industry and some home-prepared diets can go wrong - using wrong ratios of ingredients, poor food handling practices, or making diets lacking key nutrients.

These shortcomings can give 'raw' and other fresh food diets a bad name and can be one of the reasons vets discourage raw feeding.

Furchild is different!

Formulating raw pet food with the highest safety standards

We are focused on the healthy balance in our foods, the integrity of our ingredients and the value of our products to create healthy pets.

We take the guesswork out of preparing a homemade raw pet food diet and are far superior to an unbalanced diet based on percentages.

Our recipes are formulated by industry professionals and ensure that pets are consuming a balanced ratio of macro-nutrients, micronutrients, fats, amino acids, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Further, our recipes are certified for efficacy by two board-certified veterinary nutritionists from the USA.

We are a one-of-a-kind 'responsible' raw pet food offering, committed to the highest standards of product quality, food safety and targeted nutrition based on science and international expertise.

3) Vets are concerned that raw pet food contains harmful bacteria.

The truth be told - dogs and cats are not humans. Their bodies have a much shorter digestive tract with a high level of acidity that allows them to process their food very differently and deal with different types of bacteria.

Our pets' motility and pH in their GI tract digest foods differently and much faster than we do - long before harmful bacteria are able to multiply and cause problems.

And while humans can get sick from eating raw meat in general, our pets remain unaffected. On the contrary, raw meat is an integral part of our pets’ healthy digestive biome and their natural, ancestral diet.

That again brings us to the question - why are some vets against raw diets?

Safe Handling of Raw Meat

At Furchild, we maintain careful hygiene and meticulous handling of all our products, keeping food safety at its highest level.

And yes, raw meat can grow pathogenic bacteria, if not handled correctly. But wait, did you know that both kibble and canned pet foods can also grow pathogenic bacteria (and often do) if not handled properly?

Whether it’s fresh raw pet food or kibbles, pet parents need to be careful when handling food as dry kibble foods can also contain harmful bacteria, and are often recalled for this problem.

It comes down to practising common sense, implementing hygiene practices and the appropriate handling of food.

Raw meat should be handled in the same fashion as any other meat or food items should be managed. In addition, your pet's dishes, feeding utensils, and eating area should be thoroughly cleaned after each meal using hot soapy water, regardless of your pet's diet.

Taking this into consideration, Furchild has a 7-step food safety process, in which we implement stringent quality control throughout all operations, from sourcing and manufacturing to transportation. We also include the use of bacteriophage technology.

With all the added safety measures in place, we want you to rest assured that your pet is consuming a science-based safe raw pet food diet which meets strict food safety standards for pathogen control.

Speaking to Your Vet

While it can be unnerving to consult with a vet who isn’t reinforcing your decision to feed your dogs and cats a raw pet food diet, there are in fact, many vets in the UAE advising raw feeding and recommending their clients to Furchild regularly. Moreover, vets are feeding our recipes to their own pets too.

Having that said, we’re proud to say that our complete and balanced raw meals are stocked at veterinary clinics across Dubai. And we’re aimed at growing our list of stockists further.

And if your vet is against raw pet food, whoever they may be, we're here to support you.

We've also put together tips for you on how to approach raw feeding with your vet and have an open, informative discussion in another blog, How to Talk to Your Vet About Raw Pet Food?

May 2023

Have a question or comment? We would love to hear about it.

FURCHILD is the first raw pet food company of its kind in the Middle East.

Discover the transformative power of our fresh, healthy, balanced meals, raw bones, all-natural chews, and premium handcrafted freeze-dried treats. Our Meals for Dogs and Meals for Cats are formulated by the world's leading pet food experts, approved by veterinarians, and are made of the highest quality ingredients.

  • Human grade ingredients
  • Organic vegetables and fruits
  • Ethically sourced grass-fed, free-range and cage-free meats and poultry
  • No antibiotics. No hormones. No preservatives. Absolutely no nasties!
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Suitable for dogs and cats, puppies and kittens
  • Home delivery anywhere in the UAE
  • Monthly subscription plans and bulk order discount offerings

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